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09/11/08 2:00 PM ET
Twins remember Sept. 11 heroes
Minnesota honors anniversary with pregame ceremony
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- A banner hangs in one of the corners of the Metrodome roof with the saying "Remember the Heroes." And seven years to the day that the United States suffered the worst terrorist attack in the country's history, Major League Baseball and the Twins took time to honor the heroes of Sept. 11. The Twins commemorated the anniversary on Thursday with a pregame ceremony before their afternoon contest against the Royals. The ceremony featured a tribute to one of Minnesota's own heroes on that fateful day, Tom Burnett Jr., who was on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. Burnett, a native of Bloomington, Minn., was one of the passengers who helped overtake the hijackers on that flight and foiled the plot to crash the plane into either the White House or the U.S. Capitol. To honor Burnett's actions, Martha Burnett O'Brien, his sister, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey. A moment of silence was also held during the ceremony, followed by the club's vice president of corporate partnerships, Eric Curry, singing "God Bless America." A video tribute played, remembering the events and heroics of 9/11. Members of the Minnesota Army National Guard then helped unfurl a giant American flag and a somber version of the national anthem was played on the trumpet. It was a brief ceremony, but one that the Twins hoped would appropriately honor the memories of those affected by the tragedy. "I think this is the third time we've had the chance to play at home on 9/11 since 2001, and every time we want to do the most appropriate remembrance that we can," said Twins director of game presentation and broadcasting Andy Price. "We also wanted to make it something simple, since we are now seven years past." In addition to their pregame ceremony, the Twins have found other ways to also remember the heroes who serve the country. The Minnesota Twins Wives' Organization collected more than 500 pounds of new and used baseball equipment to donate to U.S. troops in Iraq. The equipment was shipped out Tuesday morning from Holman Airfield in St. Paul and was expected to arrive in Iraq on Sept. 11. American troops will open the equipment during a live video feed, which will be broadcast prior to a future home game.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.